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Use your NZ documents overseas

Check which countries require New Zealand documents to be officially authenticated or apostilled by the Department of Internal Affairs' Authentication Unit.

Overview

When you need to use a New Zealand document in another country, you may be asked to get the document apostilled or authenticated. Some countries call this legalisation.

Apostilles and authentications are official government certificates that prove the signature, stamp or seal on a document is genuine.

An e-apostille is a secure PDF.

Check the following requirements for the country you are using the documents in and what the organisation requires.

Allow enough time if you need to provide original certificates or notarised documents. Some type of documents require a further check by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).

The Authentication Unit does not provide an urgent service for processing applications.

Check the country you are using your document in

Whether you need an apostille or an authentication depends on the country your documents will be used in. Check the list of countries for more information about what to request from the Authentication Unit.

This is an apostille country.

You can get:

  • a paper apostille, or
  • an electronic apostille, called an e-apostille.

Ask the overseas organisation which type of apostille they want.

For a paper apostille, the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit will put a covering page, called an apostille certificate, on top of your documents. They will be tied together with a ribbon and get an official embossed seal.

An e-apostille is a secure PDF that’s emailed to you.

This is a category A authentication country.

Your documents will be authenticated by the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit, and then sent to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) for verification.

Your authenticated documents will have a covering page on top with a stamp from MFAT. The documents will be tied together with a ribbon and get an official embossed seal. They are then sent to the address you included on your application form.

This is a category B authentication country.

The process is more complicated for category B countries, so authentication costs more and takes longer.

Some organisations that are in a category B country will let you change to get a category A authentication. It is worth asking the organisation if they will accept a category A authentication as they are quicker and cost less.

If you’re sending documents to a category B country, you should contact their embassy to find out what you need to send them, how you can pay and how you can get your documents sent back to you.

List of embassies (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website)

Then contact the Authentication Unit so they can check what you will be sending them. This could include:

  • a letter for that country’s embassy, asking them to verify the documents
  • their payment, and
  • some way for them to return your documents to you, like a self-addressed envelope.

Russia is an apostille country.

You can get:

  • a paper apostille, or
  • an electronic apostille, called an e-apostille.

Ask the Russian organisation which type of apostille they want.

For a paper apostille, the Department of Internal Affairs Authentication Unit will put a covering page, called an apostille certificate, on top of your documents. They will be tied together with a ribbon and get an official embossed seal.

An e-apostille is an electronic version of the apostille certificate that is emailed to you as a secure PDF.

Check document requirements with the organisation

You should also check if the organisation asking for the document has specific requirements. For example, they might:

  • only accept documents that were issued recently
  • want the documents translated
  • accept multiple documents as a set
  • only accept original documents, and not notarised copies
  • accept electronic apostilles or paper apostilles.

Documents you need

The Authentication Unit can only apostille or authenticate documents that match the Unit’s requirements.

Before you send your documents to the Authentication Unit, check if they need to be:

  • the original, or if copies are accepted
  • translated
  • notarised or certified.

Authentication Unit document requirements

How to apply

Complete the form

You need Adobe Acrobat for Mac or Windows to complete the application form.

Request a document authentication or apostille (PDF 401KB)

Cost

Table 1: Costs and fees

Certificate / service Type Cost (in NZ dollars)
Apostille  First certificate (paper or electronic apostille) $32.00
Any extra certificates (paper or electronic apostille) $15.00 each
Authentication category A  First certificate $65.00
Any extra certificates $31.00 each
Authentication category B  First certificate $195.00
Any extra certificates $61.00 each
Translations included as part of your application The Translation Service will tell you if the fee is different for your translation $95.00 each
Courier DIA delivers your documents by courier because it’s more secure
  • $5 within NZ
  • $15 to Australia and Asia-Pacific countries
  • $20 to the United States (not Canada)
  • $25 to European countries (including the UK)
  • $30 for the rest of the world

Ways to pay

You can pay by:

  • credit, debit or prepaid gift card (for example, Prezzy® card)
  • EFTPOS (only available when you visit an office in person)
  • foreign draft (only available if you apply at the Sydney or London office).

Submit your form, documents and payment

If the Authentication Unit is sending your documents to an organisation outside New Zealand

If you want the Authentication Unit to send your apostilled or authenticated documents to an organisation outside New Zealand, you can also include other documents that don’t need to be apostilled or authenticated.

Make sure you:

  • include any extra forms, payments or courier bags
  • clearly write which documents need to be apostilled or authenticated.

Return the completed form, your documents and payment to the Authentication Unit at the Department of Internal Affairs in Wellington.

By post

Authentication Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
PO Box 10526
Wellington 6140
New Zealand

By courier

Authentication Unit
Department of Internal Affairs
Level 2
7 Waterloo Quay
Wellington
New Zealand

In person

If you would like to deliver your application in person, you must make an appointment at one of the below DIA offices:

What happens next

COVID-19 update:

The Authentication Unit is experiencing delays due to reduced staff on site. The approximate timeframe to process an application is currently 21 working days.

The Authentication Unit authenticates the documents, then:

  • apostille documents are sent to the address requested on the application form
  • authentication documents are sent to MFAT to also do a check
  • category B documents are also sent to international embassies for legalisation.

The Authentication Unit will contact you if they need more information.

Authentication Unit contact details

Utility links and page information

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